Go Back

Pennsylvania Healthcare Background Check

1.) What are the requirements of the law to complete check-ups on records?

Act 179 of 2006 amended the Child Protective Services Law (Title 23 Pa.C.S., Chapter 63) (CPSL) in various sections. Section 6344.2 has been added to the law to require anyone who is aspiring to work in a job that has the "significant possibility of frequent contact with children, whether in the form of guidance, care or supervision" to undergo a Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Check by the Pennsylvania State Police and a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Record Check with the Department of Public Welfare. This particular requirement of Act 179 of 2006 was in effect on January 28, 2007. However, this year, the Department of Health will require all employees hired after July 1, 2008, to undergo these checks on their records.

Act 73 of 2007 amended the CPSL to mandate that, along with a Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Check as well as the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Record Check, the employees affected who are covered under Section 6344.2 are also required to undergo a fingerprint-based background check for criminal records in the national system. This particular obligation for Act 73 of 2007 was in effect on July 1, 2008.

2.) How can people get these records?

It is important to note that the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Check is required by the Pennsylvania State Police and can be obtained by two different methods. The first is that people can download a form from www.dpw.state.pa.us. The instructions for filling out and filling out the form are on the website.

Another option is to use the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History Web-Based System (PATCH) to conduct these records checks.

Pennsylvania has signed an agreement with Cogent Systems to be the service provider for fingerprint-based criminal history records checks. Individuals must register online at www.pa.cogentid.com/dpw. If the person doesn't possess access to computers or an internet connection, they can sign up via phone at (888) 439-2486. Once the registration process is complete and the person is registered, they can visit any located throughout the state to be taken. The fingerprints are transferred to the FBI to be processed and returned to the Department of Public Welfare, where the results will be read, and a result letter will be sent to the person.

3.) What kind of employees are required to get these healthcare checks?

The legislation stipulates that "prospective employee who plans to engage in jobs with a high possibility of frequent contact with children in the forms of guidance, care or training" must obtain the required record checks. Therefore, organizations should consult with their HR directors and solicitors to develop a sensible policy on how employees can meet this requirement. Learn more about the Pennsylvania healthcare background check.



4.) There are instances where employees require FBI records checks due to regulations set by the Department of Aging. Does an individual have to use an FBI record check conducted by the Department of Aging to fulfill the requirements in Act 73 of 2007?

The Department of Public Welfare will only accept fingerprint-based FBI record checks to interpret. The results sent to applicants via FBI record checks conducted by the Department of Aging are not the actual FBI results. So, we are looking for a feasible solution that allows FBI record checks through the Department of Aging to be acceptable.

5.) There are instances that employees require FBI records checks due to regulations set by the Department of Education. Department of Education. Does an individual have to use an FBI record check arranged by the Department of Education to fulfill the requirements under Act 73 of 2007?

The Department of Public Welfare will send a results letter at no cost when the original results are provided to the person from the Department of Education. Department of Education is available to be interpreted. The person will have to send these results in writing to the Department of Public Welfare requesting the interpretation, and a results letter will be issued. This letter should be sent to:

ChildLine as well as Abuse RegistryOffice of Children Family and Youth Hillcrest Building 1st Floor

PO Box 2675

Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675

6.) There are occasions that employees could be foreign nationals with FBI records checks done through Homeland Security. Does an individual have to use an FBI record check obtained through Homeland Security to fulfill the obligation to comply with Act 73 of 2007?

FBI records check carried out by Homeland Security may not be utilized to meet the requirements in Act 73 of 2007. The results of FBI record checks should be considered to satisfy the Child Protective Services Law's specifications regarding the crimes that are prohibited from employment. The method by which FBI records checks are conducted via Homeland Security does not allow interpretation.

7.) How long will the records checks need to return?

The Department of Public Welfare is mandated under the CPSL to complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Record Check within 14 days. This is being fulfilled through the Department. Sometimes, people fail to complete their applications correctly, and additional information could be required, which can delay the time it takes to process.

Processing times as of the date of this FAQ regarding FBI clearances through Cogent/DPW and for the PA Child Abuse Clearance are 0.57 days and 11 days, respectively. In the case of the FBI clearance, it is the amount of time required for the results to reach DPW for interpretation, starting from when the applicant's fingerprints are electronically scanned using a Cogent-approved website. The results letter is immediately printed and sent if there is no record. Therefore, processing and mailing the results should not be more than one week. There are exceptions in certain circumstances. For instance, in the case of an arrest record, the results need to be considered. But if the applicant cooperates in obtaining additional information required, it will not take more than three weeks. This is because the processing period for this PA Child Abuse History clearance is 11 days, and then the proper time for mailing must be added. For any queries regarding the processing times for a PA State Police Criminal History Clearance, contact the PA State Police at (717) 783-9973. If agencies decide to hire an applicant, they must be proactive in ensuring that the applicant has completed the required requirements for clearances promptly to avoid delays when hiring.

Any questions about the status of the Child Abuse History Record Check or the FBI Record Check may be directed to ChildLine at (717) 783-3211.

8.) Is it possible to hire an employee before the record check is returned?

Suppose an organization encounters special circumstances that require them to employ an employee before the findings of records checks are received. In that case, a provision in the CPSL permits the provisional hiring of employees. The period must not exceed 30 calendar days for residents of the state and 90 for non-residents of the state. The employee must have applied for all three checks and be able to provide proof of this. Additionally, the employee has to swear or confirm in writing are not barred from employment due to an arrest or conviction for a crime or decision made by an investigation into child abuse that will prohibit employment. It is also required that the employee does not work alone with any children and that they are within the immediate vicinity of a permanent employee.

9.) If an employee is transferred from one position to another within the same organization, is it subject to the requirement of receiving the record checks, or can they be a "grandfathered" worker (on payroll on July 1, 2008) move into a job that requires constant contact with children through care, instruction, guidance or supervision even if the prior job didn't involve any kind of contact?

If an employee is moving into employment with the possibility of frequent contact with children due to guidance, care, or supervision and they have not previously been employed in a similar job, they must get FBI clearance. However, employees who were employed before July 1, 2008, do not have to get the information required under 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344(b) in an obligation to continue employment at their current position.

10.) 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6344.2 specifically mentions the subsections (b) and (c) in 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6344. Do we understand correctly that all the subsections of Section 6444, including the provisional employee subsection (m) and the grandfather/transfer subsection (k), also apply to the "hospital personnel" that is mentioned in Section 6344.2?

SS 6344.2 is to be taken in conjunction with the current provisions of the CPSL. Although SS 6344.2 specifically mentions SS 6344.4 (b) however, additional provisions in SS 6444 are also applicable, such as SS (k) and (relating to employees who are currently transferred workers) and SS (m) and (relating to temporary employees who are employed for a limited period).

11.) If a provider voluntarily assumes the obligation to obtain the information required in subsection (b) of Section 6344 for all new hires after July 1, 2008 (including those who do not have regular contact with children), are we correct in understanding that any such once-cleared employee may subsequently transfer into any position within the organization that entails regular contact with children even if the position for which they were initially hired and cleared did not involve such contact?

Yes, as long as the background checks have been completed and there are no discrepancies found, the employee can transfer to an existing position within the same organization, which could require a high likelihood of having regular interactions with children.

12.) In Section 6344.2, What is the definition of the word "hospital employees?" Does it extend to the practice of physicians, non-hospital-based therapies of all types, and home-based treatment for children?

According to SS 6344.2, "hospital personnel" is an example of the categories of people included in the. The section's main focus is "prospective employees who wish to engage in jobs that have a high possibility of frequent contact with children, whether in the type of guidance, care, and supervision or even training." Therefore, all prospective employees who fall into this category must undergo background screening.

13.) Is DOH intends to issue rules or other technical guidelines to implement the provisions of the statute concerning "hospital employees" as well as "ambulatory surgical facilities"? If yes, what date is it?


The Department posted a notice on its health care facility's message board.

14.) Is the Department creating a strategy for provisos that reflect the reality of the home care environment.

All parties are bound by the legal requirements that are contained in SS 6344(m), which lists the conditions for employment on a provisional basis. However, people who have completed the background checks required by law can be hired on a Pro-forma basis for a specific period of not more than thirty days in the case of Pennsylvania residents, as well as 90-days for non-residents of the state applicants if the requirements are met:

  1.  An applicant submitted a request for the required background checks, and the applicant has supplied an original copy of the completed application to the facility administrator.
  2. The administrator is unaware of information about the applicant, which could render the applicant unfit for the position.
  3. A person applying for employment swears the applicant isn't disqualified from work.
  4. If the data from background checks indicates that the applicant is not qualified to be employed, the applicant will be dismissed immediately from the workplace by an administrator.
  5. The administrator is adamant that applicants not be allowed to work in a group with children. The administrator also requires that the applicant is within the immediate proximity of a permanent employee.

These regulations were adopted in The General Assembly in statute and can not be modified or changed by regulation or policy. For example, suppose the provisional employee is providing home care in which there is likely to be a significant chance of frequent contact with children through guidance, care, or supervision and supervision. In that case, the temporary employee is required to be assisted by a permanent worker.

15.) Regarding the definition of grandfather/transfer section (k) of Section 6344, Are we in the correct the assumption that any employee who is employed from July 1 August 2008 is not required to provide the information specified by paragraph (b) at any time shortly in the course of their employment?

Employees working before July 1, 2008, do not have to provide the required information under 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344(b) is essential for continued work in their position.

16.) Does the expression "same company" within the "transfer" section (k) includes all the affiliated entities in the network of health care entities, or is it only the entity that employed the employee who transferred?


The phrase "same company" within 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344(k) only applies to the licensed entity that employed the transferred employee and did not extend to other related entities that are part of the same umbrella or network.

17.) What is the reasoning behind categorizing home health care services that are geared toward children into "child health care."

Personnel who provide home health care for children must get the necessary clearances to be obtained by the 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344(b) because they "engage in jobs that involve the significant potential for frequent contact with children, for example, care or guidance, supervision, or education" following 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344.2.

18.) What does the definition of "child-care service" in subsection (k) pertain to "hospital personnel" because"hospital staff" are defined in "child-care service" is contained within Section 6303(a) in the Child Protective Services Law (which seems to apply to the language employed in Section 644) does not focus on the people who provide child care in general?

We consider section (k) in Section 6444 to encompass persons who fall covered by 6344.2 who need to get the clearances under subsection (b) of 6344.

19.). At times, the hospital may hire people that are not yet 18 (summer job opportunities, etc.). As they are considered children, should the manager of the "child" require fingerprinting and background check because they are now in frequent contact with a "child" younger than 18?

We have students from high school-aged between 16 and 17. They work in dietary, as dishwashers during 5p/8p. Are we required to conduct a child clearance for any person who works in dietary from now on, since they will be giving guidance and training to pupils in high schools?

Supervisors of employees younger than 18 are not required to undergo background checks. In general, the Commonwealth doesn't consider the mere existence of an employer/employee connection to be "care of guidance, supervision or instruction" that requires a background check according to 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344.2.

20.) How can we handle foreign nationals who were employed and taken to be fingerprinted in the hands of Homeland Security weeks earlier?

Are fingerprint-based Federal Criminal History Records required for Foreign Nationals? (They must pass thorough background checks before coming into the country but do not have any history in the US.) If so, they usually don't get an SSN until they've spent within their US about 30 days. I think it's difficult to comply with the laws.


Foreign nationals aren't exempt from the provisions in 23 Pa.C.S. SS 6344.2 and, as such, have to go through background screening. So the FBI doesn't require an SSN to approve an application for fingerprinting.

21.) Hospice volunteers are required to carry a PA Criminal Background Check and a PA Children Abuse Record Clearance?

According to the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CPSL) for hospices (42 CFR SS 418.1 et seq.) All volunteer volunteers count in the category of "employees." This means that every volunteer working in a Medicare-accredited hospice located in Pennsylvania is considered an employee. But, unless the facility regularly treats children, these employees will likely be able to meet the CPSL requirement that they are in a substantial likelihood of regular interactions with children.

22). How often must clearances be reviewed?

There is no obligation in the CPSL to provide periodic updates.

23). Are there ways to obtain Child Line clearances direct from the employer, or do you at all can you provide general level clearances to employers with no specifics?

To comply with the Child Protective Services Law regarding private data, ChildLine will not release the results letters to any other agency. The results letter will be provided to the applicant. Due to legislative requirements, ChildLine clearances are required to be completed within 14 days of the receipt of an application. Therefore, it is recommended that the agency or applicant track the application when the application is submitted. The applicant must receive the results within three weeks from the submission date.

SS 611.52. Background checks for criminals.

(a) General rule. A home-care agency or registry for home care must require all applicants to be employed or referred as direct care workers to provide a criminal history report that was obtained at the time of applying or within a year before the date of the application. Anyone who applies to be employed as an office staff of the Home Care Registry or for the agency that provides home care, as well as the proprietor or owners or owners of the organization as well as the home care registry, must obtain an investigation into their criminal history according to the requirements specified in the section.

(b) State Police criminal history report. Suppose the person who must submit or request a criminal history report was a citizen within this Commonwealth for two years before requesting an investigation report on their criminal history. In that case, the individual must request a State Police criminal history record.

(c) Federal criminal history record. Suppose the person who is who must submit or request a criminal history record was not an occupant of this Commonwealth for two years before the date of the request for an investigation into criminal history. In that case, The individual must obtain a Federal criminal history report and an official letter issued by the Department of Aging, based on the person's Federal criminal record according to 6. Pa. Code SS 15.144(b) (relating to procedures).

(d) Proof of residency. The home care agency or the home registry for care may require individuals to apply for a criminal record to provide proof of residency by submitting any document:

(1) Vehicle records for a motor vehicle, like an official driver's license or identification issued by the state.

(2) Housing documents, like rent receipts or mortgage records.

(3) Public utility receipts and utility records for electric bills.

(4) Tax records for local tax authorities.

(5) A signed and completed federal, state, or local income tax return with the taxpayer's name and address printed on it.

(6) Employment records, which include records of unemployment compensation.

(e) Prohibition. The home care service or registry of home care can not employ, roster, or keep an individual if they have a State Police criminal history record contains a prohibited conviction as defined within 6 Pa. Code SS 15.143 (relating to the responsibility of a facility) or if the Department of Aging letter of determination indicates that the person is not eligible to be hired or roster.

(f) Records maintained. A home-care agency or the home care registry must keep the file for all direct care staff and office staff members, which contain duplicates of State Police criminal history records or Department of Aging letters of determination on Federal Criminal History records. The files are available for Department inspection. The registry or agency shall keep versions of the criminal history reports for the registry or agency owners. These copies will be accessible for Department inspection.

(g) Confidentiality. The home care agency or the home registry of care shall maintain the information via State Police criminal history records and Department of Aging letters of determination on Federal Criminal History records as confidential and use it only to determine if an applicant is eligible to be employed or rostered, or to be retained.

(h) Opportunity to appeal. Suppose the decision to not hire, keep or even roster a person is based entirely or partly on State Police criminal history records. In that case, the Department of Aging letters of decision regarding Federal criminal records or the home care organization or registry for home care must give the affected person details on how to appeal to the authorities of records on criminal history if an individual believes that the information is incorrect.

(i) Exceptions. Direct care workers who have met this section's requirements and are transferred to a different registry or agency managed and owned by this same entity aren't required to submit a second criminal history record. In addition, direct care workers who are employed or assigned by an entity that changes ownership do not have to obtain a second criminal history report to submit an update to the newly-elected owner.

(j) Individuals currently employed or rostered. Direct care workers and all members of the registry or agency office staff employed or rostered with an agency for home care or home registry for home care on or after December 12, 2009, must be able to obtain and provide the State Police criminal history record or Department of Aging letter of determination, if applicable in the case of the home-care organization or the registry of home care before April 12 in 2010. This subsection does not apply to the home care organization or home care registry that had obtained the report of a criminal history that meets the standards of this subsection before the date the direct care employee and office personnel member were employed or rostered. The report is kept in the file of the individual.

Updated on 2022-11-04 19:33:49 by larry coleman

Recent Posts

The Koleman Group LLC
Current Country